While I wish I had more time to write a decent post tonight, it’s already nearing midnight.
After a halfday at VolCom’s office, I met with Jeff and worked on micro-enterprise planning. We went to Rainbow’s End at Monte Vista and met with Caroline. She used to run her own consignment store and we got some great advice on how to incorporate that into selling client’s products at Milagros and Rainbow’s End.
The idea is to try and develop a model of micro-enterprises and document the process as we go. This includes the branding, the display, the training and curriculum, etc. If it becomes a great success, as we hope, then this model could be applied across other rural areas and conferences could be held here in Alamosa to help spread the word.
There’s a lot of exciting ideas being tossed around the town. One section of 6th Street has old buildings that are going to be torn down and reconstructed. I mentioned the communal, small-town feel of Hammondsport’s Village Square and Kent’s Acorn Alley project. I really love the idea of having grass, trees and places for community members and visitors to sit and relax along the way as they shopped. Rather than a strip mall being built in the location, it would be great if the space could be opened up and more inviting. This section of 6th Street is actually right next to Adelante and the Food Bank’s programs. Outside its parking lot is where the Farmer’s Market is held each Saturday during the summer. It would be great to utilize this new space in a creative and attractive way, and also tie in some of the micro-enterprise ideas into the location. Could be pretty neat.
Another idea that was brought up by a gentleman from the train industry to try and draw in more tourists—and to get people who are simply “passing through” to spend some time in the area—is to create a sort of Winter Lights display. There’s a lot of details to explain with that, but the bottom line is the vision and opportunity to really draw people into the area and create a more ideal and appealing place for folks to spend their time. Jeff and I went on and on this afternoon brainstorming different ideas in which we could incorporate the micro-enterprises into all of this, and it is really encouraging.
On the way to Monte Vista we came up with a name and perhaps and acronym for the project. Until it’s officially decided on and launched, I’ll keep it unannounced on this blog.
After work tonight I helped out with a fundraising Valentine’s Day dinner. I was in charge of the coat check, among other things. It was a great success, raising about $9,500 with just 3o people present. It amazes me how much support La Puente has from local people alone. This money is being placed in La Puente new Legacy Fund. All donations to the fund will be invested, and La Puente will simply live off the interest only. Right now there’s about $28,000 in the fund, and Lance hopes to get it up to $100,000 by the end of the year.
It opened my eyes to the need for immediate funding and donations, as well as looking into longterm sustainability in the future. Not only that, but I realized how some donors really do have a preference in whether their money is going to help immediately or be used for years and years to come.
Anyway, it’s after midnight now, so I should go to sleep.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Love to all.
The maps below shows VolCom’s office at (Letter A) State Avenue. From there, Milagros (Letter B) is located on Main Street, as well as Rainbow’s End (Letter F). This street used to be two-way, but over the last few years they made it a one-way street heading west, and 6th Street a one-way street heading east. A lot of the shops are located on Main Street, but 6th Street hasn’t really had much business attention and looks pretty industrial. Letter D is where Adelante, Rethreads and the Food Bank are located. The buildings just west of that on 6th Street are the ones that are going to be torn down. Letter E is includes Hunt Avenue Boutique (connected to Rainbow’s End) and above the shop is where the Pals children’s program is located. Going south down State Avenue takes you to Letter G, where La Puente’s Admin Building, Shelter, and Outreach programs are located.